When you seek medical treatment, you place your trust in that care provider and their professional training. Unfortunately, sometimes medical mistakes lead to serious complications. Understanding when those mistakes qualify as malpractice makes it easier to determine when you might have a case.
Proving a malpractice case depends on a few key elements.
1. Duty to provide care
The first factor in a malpractice case is the duty to provide care. You must have an established doctor-patient relationship in which the medical professional is responsible for treatment or care. This includes even temporary relationships such as a physician covering patients in another provider’s absence or filling in at a clinic.
2. Breach of duty
After establishing a duty to provide medical care, the next factor is a breach of that duty. You must show that the doctor failed to follow through with an expected standard of care. This often means seeking testimony from other care providers about the reasonable care expectations of any medical provider in the situation.
3. Injury resulting from the misconduct
You must have an injury directly attributable to the actions or misconduct of the care provider. This includes things such as a worsening injury due to mistreatment or progression of cancer due to misdiagnosis.
4. Measurable damages
The final required element is measurable damages. You must have clear damages documented, including additional medical treatment and lost earnings as a result of the care provider’s actions.
A malpractice case requires all four elements to have a legal foundation. Consider each factor as you decide if you have a claim.